Illegal Alien Incarceration Rates Five Times Higher than Legal Citzens

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Illegal aliens are incarcerated as much as five times the rate of legal residents – and on average three times the rate of legal residents – in states where they are most heavily concentrated, according to a new study published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The study analyzes the most recent illegal alien incarceration data available from the federal government’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which reimburses states for a small portion of the costs of incarcerating criminal illegal aliens. The report looks at SCAAP payments to states with large illegal alien populations and compares it to the public records of state and local prisons.  The states analyzed include: ArizonaCaliforniaFloridaNevadaNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkOregonTexas and Washington which, together, comprise the majority – 65 percent – of the nation’s illegal alien population.  Importantly, the report does not include illegal aliens who have been convicted of federal criminal charges and are serving time in a Federal Bureau of Prison facility.

“This study should put to rest, once and for all, the notion that illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than legal residents,” said FAIR President Dan Stein.  “By focusing on states with significant illegal alien populations and that consistently report to the SCAAP program, FAIR’s study refutes this erroneous claim,” he said. “Contrary to the popular myth, this analysis shows that when applied nationally, SCAAP data from key states suggest that illegal aliens are incarcerated at three times the rate of legal residents, on average.”

Countering the Current Narrative:

  • Open-borders advocates have long claimed that illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than native-born U.S. citizens (despite the fact that improper entry by an alien is, in and of itself, a federal crime) due to their fear of deportation. Previous studies claiming this narrative have omitted crucial data, such as drug and fraud offenses, often leaving Americans to believe that illegal aliens are less likely to commit crimes than legal residents.

Key Findings:

  • In all SCAAP-reporting states along the Southern border, and in SCAAP-reporting interior states that are preferred destinations for unlawful migrants, illegal aliens are incarcerated at a much higher rate than citizens and lawfully present aliens.
  • SCAAP data indicate that illegal aliens are three times as likely to be incarcerated than non-illegal aliens.
  • In California, the state that boasts the largest illegal alien population, illegal aliens were 3.3 times as likely as legal residents to be incarcerated.  Other states where illegal aliens are at least three times as likely to be incarcerated than legal residents include:
    • New Jersey (5.5 times as likely),
    • Arizona (4 times as likely),
    • Washington (3.5 times as likely),
    • Oregon (3.7 times as likely)

The study is available in its entirety here.

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